One of the great little getaways just outside Sevierville in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park happens to be an area called “Big Creek” near Cosby, Tn. Whether you’re looking for hiking, camping, or picnicking opportunities, the Big Creek section of the park has it all.
As far as hiking goes, it’s a fairly easy jaunt in the national park. Off of Hwy. 32 in Cosby, which is easy to access coming from Interstate 40 or from Hwy. 321 in Gatlinburg, you’ll find the ranger station with a parking area and the trailhead to Mount Cammerer. Walking on, there is another hiking area for hikers, restrooms, and a camping area before you come to a small trail that leads to the Big Creek Trail.
The Big Creek Trail starts out on steep climb before coming to several pools of water fairly large in size and definitely big enough to swim in during the spring and summer months. The diamond of this hike comes up in another half mile – the Midnight Hole. The Midnight Hole is renowned for its swimming, as well as picnicking opportunities, which are many.
After you’ve cooled off and grabbed your lunch, hop back on the trail and marvel at Mouse Creek Falls, a beautiful Smoky Mountains waterfall approximately 2 miles from the trailhead.
Continuing on the trail, you’ll pass over the creek by way of a wooden bridge. This is a tempting spot for the fishermen in all of as Smoky Mountain trout can be spot swimming with the current if you look closely under the bridge. This creek will also continue to follow the trail until you reach the Walnut Bottoms backcountry camping area in another few miles.
If you’re looking to get into some the more primitive areas of the Smokies, the Big Creek Trail section of the park is the answer.
Additional information on Big Creek camping: The are only 2 backcountry camping sites – Walnut Bottom and Mount Sterling. The Big Creek campground has space for 12 tents and sites run about $35 a night. The campground is open from March 17 – November 1. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-365-2267.